Thursday, 26 June 2014

News Release: Global Experts Call On AU Governments To Implement Roadmap For Organic Agriculture In Africa

A group of eleven award-winning experts working across Africa has appealed to governments of the African Union to develop ecological organic agriculture on the continent. 

The laureates of the Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, who met in Cairo for a 3-day conference, signed a joint appeal calling on the African Union Commission and its NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), to implement their roadmap for Ecological Organic Agriculture in Africa.

With regard to the latest findings of the 2014 IPCC report and to the “grave consequences for food security in Africa,” they also called on governments to implement the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security and invest 10 per cent of national budgets into ecological organic agriculture including research and development, job creation and rural development. The UN has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.

“We are worried that international corporations are working with the government to cultivate large areas of land for agribusiness. The threat is already at our door", said Nomewende Joël Ouedraogo of the Fédération Naam in Burkina Faso.

Signatories to the appeal are recipients of the Right Livelihood Award working across Africa: renowned Nigerian environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey, President of the Chadian Association for the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights, Jacqueline Moudeina, Representative of the First People of the Kalahari, Jumanda Gakelebone, Executive Director of Federation Naam in Burkina Faso, Joel Ouedraogo, Dr Ibrahim Abouleish, founder of the biodynamic farm SEKEM in Egypt, Helmy Abouleish, SEKEM’s Managing Director, Hans R. Herren, agronomist and entomologist from Switzerland, Matron Sr. Tenadam Bekele Wolde, representative of Dr. Catherine Hamlin’s Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, MOSOP President Legborsi Pyagbara (Nigeria), Guillaume Harushimana from Centre Jeunes Kamenge in Burundi, and environmental activist René Ngongo from the DRC.

Other Petitions Signed To Protect Africa’s Future:
During the regional conference of African Right Livelihood Award Recipients, the Laureates also collectively appealed to the Nigerian government to clean up the oil spills in Ogoniland, as recommended 3 years ago in a UNEP report. As well, they called on the government of the DRC and oil company Soco International to respect national laws and regulations which outlaw all activities harmful to the environment, including oil exploration and exploitation in protected areas, to cancel exploration contracts within the boundaries of the Virunga National Park and to respect all areas designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

For more information, including the full statements and lists of signatories:

About the Right Livelihood Award:
The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those "offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today". It has become widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' and there are now 153 Laureates from 64 countries. The annual Award Ceremony takes place in the Swedish Parliament Building in December, with support by parliamentarians from all established political parties.
The Right Livelihood Award Foundation is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The prize is financed by individual donors.

Zahra Moloo
Press Consultant for Africa
Mobile: +254 724 568 164

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